I won NaNoWriMo in 2013. At my lowest point, I was 13,000 words behind. The stresses of real life, extracurriculars, and more homework left my word-count lagging far behind. On the last day, a Saturday, I knew I was going to finish. I was 11,000 words behind, which would require 5.5 hours of solid writing. I was out all day doing family stuff, but I finally got to write at 9 PM.
I crammed, using Write or Die, and switched my time-zone so I could write past midnight without the server recognizing that and making me not a winner. (Tricky, I know. I can't take credit for this idea. A guy in my region helped me with it.) Finally, at about 2 AM, I validated and was victorious. My characters were messy, and my plot was basically nonexistent, as usual, but I wrote about 20,000 words more than I thought I'd be able to, so it's still a success. My reward for myself was these brownies. (Seriously, if you love chocolate, you have to try them. Store-bought will never be the same again.)
Since taking a break from my mostly-finished first-draft of BILC, I've been editing: creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry. I'm submitting all of the above to the Scholastic Writing Awards, so that should be fun. I think I'll do well and, if I don't, there's always next year.
When not writing novels, I've also had the pleasure to read Zara Hoffman's debut, The Belgrave Daughter. I'll be reviewing that tomorrow.